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Posted (edited)

Is anyone else interested in lost media like I am?

I find interesting and also kinda creepy when a work of fiction becomes "lost". I'm not alone here as there are wikis and forums dedicated to media that cannot be seen by general public and a lot people (rightfully) dedicated a lot of time and money to finding this stuff. 

So know I have made a thread to attempt to track down a lost piece of Dragon Quest history; the prototype for the English localization for Dragon Quest 4 for the PSX. 

I have actually written an article about this lost prototype in a very reputable source for lost media. This article contains important infomation about the game which I recommend you read.

I hope we can all collaborate together and figure where this game went when it was cancelled and potentially even find it and dump it online. 

Our current course of action right now is trying to get into contact of the people who worked with Enix America at the time of the game's translation. I managed to find the linkedin page of some relevant Enix employees at the time. This includes Justin Lucas, the former product manager at Enix America at the time who has talked on length about the game in some interviews. He's actually active on linkedin and checked out my profile though he did not leave any messages. 

I'm actually feeling kinda anxious as this is my main chance to find a clue to lead us further in the investigation so I don't want to mess up by saying the wrong thing when trying to talk to him. What should I say?

Edited by DragonQuest2IsGood

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@Dwaine may be able to help.@Liamland

Damn tagging thing@Dwaine


There are quite a few knowledgeable people on this forum that may be able to point you in the right direction. I never knew a prototype was even started.

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11 minutes ago, Plattym3 said:

@Dwaine may be able to help.@Liamland

Damn tagging thing@Dwaine


There are quite a few knowledgeable people on this forum that may be able to point you in the right direction. I never knew a prototype was even started.

Thank you! 

 

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Posted (edited)

No such thing exists. I've spoken to a few Enix employees over the years on several occasions. None of them ever mentioned of a build existing. This is likely because the coding company disbanded before any significant English work could've been done an inserted.

Now...the translated Dragon Quest VI as Dragon Warrior V? THAT I want. It does exist! Probably only one test cart stowed away in a garage in Seattle, but it does exist.

Edited by Dwaine
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13 minutes ago, Dwaine said:

No such thing exists. I've spoken to a few Enix employees over the years on several occasions. None of them ever mentioned of a build existing. This is likely because the coding company disbanded before any significant English work could've been done an inserted.

I guess I was confused by things said in an interview such as:

Ask any programmer of any programming language how interested they are in working on someone else’s code.

That kinda implied to me at least there was at least a little code done on that project but since word of god deconfirmed it's existence I can't really question that. Thanks for informing me!

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Posted (edited)

Not the PSX version, but there is this list of DW beta and prototype roms for NES/FC that Sackchief got from some archive group he's a part of.

It's got two versions of DQIV one marked "Rev A" but I haven't tried any of these yet.

Dragon Warrior Betas and Prototypes-20191025T194916Z-001.zip

Edited by Liamland

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14 minutes ago, Liamland said:

Not the PSX version, but there is this list of DW beta and prototype roms for NES/FC that Sackchief got from some archive group he's a part of.

It's got two versions of DQIV one marked "Rev A" but I haven't tried any of these yet.

Dragon Warrior Betas and Prototypes-20191025T194916Z-001.zip 1.37 MB · 0 downloads

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Quote

I guess I was confused by things said in an interview such as:

Ask any programmer of any programming language how interested they are in working on someone else’s code.

That kinda implied to me at least there was at least a little code done on that project but since word of god deconfirmed it's existence I can't really question that. Thanks for informing me!

Haha, not a problem! Coding can be pretty user specific. A coder has to learn how things were built, organized, and why. So a programmer would've had to learn Heartbeat's code then figure out how to insert an English script within the code's character limit. That takes a whole lot of time and money, which Enix just didn't have. Had Heartbeat not disbanded, they probably would've used the same method they did for DW VII since it's built off the same engine. Then again, it was their framework and would've known how to do that efficiently. They had everything ready to go until they dropped out, so I don't think any real translation work had even started.

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Posted (edited)

I put this Tweet up with a screenshot of the ad to try and get some views on it. I remember this is something we used to bug The Enix Forum admins about it, trying to get the code (at the time the admins were our only real connection to the company). The problem was that it was proprietary code from Heartbeat, a company that no longer existed. The chances are incredibly low of digging this up, as it would have had to have been preserved by a former employee who also happens to be a hoarder. But you never know....

Dwaine, am I misremembering discussions on The Enix Forums 18 years ago that they had started on it? The fans were rabid about getting the code for a fan translation, to complete the work that had been started. It could have been speculation back then, but it's weird that they'd advertise for it if they haven't already started working on it.

Someone from The Enix Forums also tried getting the PSX-rom, but the consensus back then was that the code was too difficult to decipher for a translation--which is weird because more complex games have been fan translated, since. I remember various groups of individuals trying to reach out to former Heartbeat employees even back then to try and decipher the complex game code, to no avail.

It took 5 years until the DS version was out in Japan and 6 for the NA release, so my guess is that anyone working on a PSX DQIV translation gave up.

Edited by Liamland

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Posted (edited)

Oh Liam I'm glad you brought up that beta file thing.  I can't seem to get the NES beta to work on my console.  There may be something wrong with the file.  The prototype works fine though.  Also I'll share my dump of the DQVIII beta with the Den, I think I've hoarded it long enough.  @Dwaine  @Liamland

Edited by Sackchief

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https://drive.google.com/open?id=144pKk9B_Zxa1TAyJ4OXW4_akAD1q2rt4

 

Here is the updated folder with the Dragon Quest VIII demo disc I ripped myself.  Nobody else on the internet has done this.  The demo has a bunch of differences to the final game.

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Posted (edited)

Sounds good. Thanks! I don't suppose your archive group has gotten wind of anything DQIV-PSX related, have they?

This DQ problem has been plaguing the NA fanbase for 18 years.

Edited by Liamland

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Yeah there's definitely holes in DQ's recorded history online.  So much stuff we don't know and have access to its honestly sad considering how other fanbases have almost ever little scrap of information on their games accounted for.  The DQ wiki needs a big overhaul honestly.  While I haven't found anything DQIV related, I have managed to track down a beta/prototype for Dragon Warrior VII PS1.  

https://hiddenpalace.org/Dragon_Warrior_VII_(Sep_14,_2001_prototype)

I have not tested it yet, but it released September 2001.  I can't imagine it being too different, but its worth taking a look at, maybe I'll burn it to a disc later.

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I put this Tweet up with a screenshot of the ad to try and get some views on it. I remember this is something we used to bug The Enix Forum admins about it, trying to get the code (at the time the admins were our only real connection to the company). The problem was that it was proprietary code from Heartbeat, a company that no longer existed. The chances are incredibly low of digging this up, as it would have had to have been preserved by a former employee who also happens to be a hoarder. But you never know....
Dwaine, am I misremembering discussions on The Enix Forums 18 years ago that they had started on it? The fans were rabid about getting the code for a fan translation, to complete the work that had been started. It could have been speculation back then, but it's weird that they'd advertise for it if they haven't already started working on it.
Someone from The Enix Forums also tried getting the PSX-rom, but the consensus back then was that the code was too difficult to decipher for a translation--which is weird because more complex games have been fan translated, since. I remember various groups of individuals trying to reach out to former Heartbeat employees even back then to try and decipher the complex game code, to no avail.
It took 5 years until the DS version was out in Japan and 6 for the NA release, so my guess is that anyone working on a PSX DQIV translation gave up.
What's interesting is when the DS version released in Japan, day 1 it had the English script on the Japanese cart. So maybe some work had been done 5+ years before.

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According to Wikipedia (the foremost authority of all knowledge :thumbsup:) several members of Heartbeat went on to create a company called Genius Sonority. I reached out to one who mentioned he was a former GS employee, and I asked him if he worked with anyone who worked for Heartbeat in 2002. If he's acquaintances with the Genius Sonority company creators, there's a slight chance he could pass the word along.

 Being over-the-top idealistic here (that's a Stallone movie about arm wrestling level of idealism) but if there's even a chance that the right person will see it, it's worth trying.

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Posted (edited)

Can the mods rename this thread to make it more of a general Dragon Quest lost media thread?

Edited by DragonQuest2IsGood

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Liamland said:

but it's weird that they'd advertise for it if they haven't already started working on it.

It's one of those things where everything was a go, but their developer decided to split. Literally and figuratively.

Quote

Here is the updated folder with the Dragon Quest VIII demo disc I ripped myself.  Nobody else on the internet has done this.  The demo has a bunch of differences to the final game.

Thanks a ton for this. I remember Tom playing around with it back in the day. He said there's an option for the debug menu, but there's no button to map it to. Also, the demo still has "miniheal" instead of "heal."

Quote

Yeah there's definitely holes in DQ's recorded history online.

One of my goals for the new Shrine was to fill in those holes. I've been so incredibly busy and sometimes it can be tough to track all these folks down. Sometimes you contact folks and have no idea if your message made it or if it got caught by a spam filter. I feel terrible about it.

Quote

What's interesting is when the DS version released in Japan, day 1 it had the English script on the Japanese cart. So maybe some work had been done 5+ years before.

The DS version was localized while the game was in development. They started doing this with VIII. The other languages were also in there, if I remember correctly. VII and IV were localized after the games were released in Japan. This was when Enix viewed international markets as afterthoughts.

Quote

several members of Heartbeat went on to create a company called Genius Sonority

Heartbeat sort of split. The coding side was Genius Sonority. Manabu Yamana founded it, and was a key programmer since the beginning of DQ. If I'm correct, he formed his own studio after leaving Chun Soft and began development on VI. Artepiazza was the graphic design side.

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Can the mods rename this thread to make it more of a general Dragon Quest lost media thread?

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Edited by Dwaine

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10 hours ago, DragonQuest2IsGood said:

Can the mods rename this thread to make it more of a general Dragon Quest lost media thread?

Totally Wizard of Ozing this right now, but you've had that power all along. As the OP you can change the thread title by editing your original post.

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23 hours ago, Dwaine said:

Now...the translated Dragon Quest VI as Dragon Warrior V? THAT I want. It does exist! Probably only one test cart stowed away in a garage in Seattle, but it does exist.

Omg I want to find this. DQVI for the SNES is tied for my favorite Dragon Quest game with DQIX. Any idea who worked on it? Maybe I can find their linkedin?

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I'm surprised to hear there was a DQ8 demo. How/why have I never heard of this before?!

 

I want to play Dragon Warrior V.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, and here's the interview with Enix's former producer. Huge props to Heidi for landing this interview! He works for Microsoft now.

Quote

I'm surprised to hear there was a DQ8 demo. How/why have I never heard of this before?!

It was a...preorder bonus? Yes? No?

Edited by Dwaine

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I see. We didn't have a PS2 when the game launched. My mom's boyfriend at the time ended up buying her the console and game that(?) Christmas.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Dwaine said:

Yes, and here's the interview with Enix's former producer. Huge props to Heidi for landing this interview! He works for Microsoft now.

It was a...preorder bonus? Yes? No?

It was packaged as a free gift in Shonen Jump back when it was a monthly magazine in the US. I don’t believe you could have gotten it if you bought the magazine off a rack, it might have been only for subscribers. There was also a three-part interview with Akira Toriyama spread out across three issues.

It’s actually how I was introduced to Dragon Quest!

Edited for clarity because I can’t really confirm if it was in all copies of the magazine.

Edited by eal

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Yes, and here's the interview with Enix's former producer. Huge props to Heidi for landing this interview! He works for Microsoft now.
I'm surprised to hear there was a DQ8 demo. How/why have I never heard of this before?!
It was a...preorder bonus? Yes? No?
Yes, I got mine at GameStop for pre-ordering. Or just picked it up. A bit unsure, but I know I got it there. I somehow ended up with 2 or 3. Got a sealed one or 2 around here somewhere.

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43 minutes ago, Plattym3 said:

Yes, I got mine at GameStop for pre-ordering. Or just picked it up. A bit unsure, but I know I got it there. I somehow ended up with 2 or 3. Got a sealed one or 2 around here somewhere.

Ditto

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Did you guys get the demo before the game came out?

Giving out a demo for a game you pre-ordered as an incentive to pre-order sounds backwards since you generally pre-order a game because you know you want to play it, and a demo is a way to get potential buyers interested.

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